Informing Adoption of New Sanitation Technologies

Project Brief

RTI engaged with Quicksand to conduct a series of studies to understand the existing sanitation ecosystem in India to inform opportunities for new sanitation technologies, currently under development. In this regard, we interacted with a wide range of stakeholders covering the whole value chain from technology manufactures to the end users.

Study 1: Challenges Faced in Adoption of New Sanitation Technologies

We conducted extensive field research in three southern states in rural India with an aim of understanding how the new technology works in different contexts, technology appropriation by the manufacturers  and end user and toilet operators’ understanding of the technology and use.

Findings from this study helped our client understand the challenges in sanitation technology adoption for different contexts with a view into the various factors that affected adoption. Insights from our research were used as a lens to look at different technologies available in the market and to select appropriate technologies based on market needs.

Study 2: Overview of Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) Vendors in India

Focus of this study was to understand business models and operations of various STP technology vendors in India. We identified two different STP processes widely in use and conducted in-depth interviews with entities manufacturing and selling these systems.

Findings and insights from our explorations and interviews with the STP vendors helped our client to better understand the business models adopted by different vendors and their positions in the overall sanitation value chain.

Study 3: Assess Human Interactions and Experiences Using New Sanitation Technologies in a Developing Context

Focus of this study was to assess effects of waste treatment technology on the experience, behaviours, and perceptions of all stakeholders in the system before, during, and after the pilot period. Using a range of qualitative research tools such as interviews, observations, and cultural probes, we tried to develop a comprehensive view of the stakeholders’ experience with the technology.

Through this study we developed a baseline understanding of behaviours and perceptions around exiting sanitation systems and tried to understand how these variables changed overtime after introducing the new technology.

Study 4: Design and Architecture Recommendations for a Toilet Block Superstructure

Aim of this study was to develop recommendations for the design and architecture of a superstructure that was planned for a labour camp in South India. The super structure was built to test new technology, including ways to engage the users, and necessary steps to improve adoption.

Our team spent a couple of days interacting with the potential users to understand the context, user behaviours, site specific peculiarities and community expectations. Our findings from the field immersion was translated into Insights and design principles for the superstructure design and architecture.

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